Essential Dog Park Etiquette For New Owners
Finding a good dog park near your home can be a momentous moment for dog owners. You finally have a safe place where you let your dog off his lead and let him run around with other dogs until he’s completely tuckered out. Although many people think that taking a dog park is simple enough, there are a few unwritten rules that you will want to follow in order to make the dog park experience enjoyable for everyone.
1. Listen to other dog owners
Communication is key in this situation, and you should never just leave your dog to it. If an owner says their dog is scared, move away from them and distract your dog with something else. A scared dog can very quickly become an aggressive dog, so rather than trying to play dog psychologist, just speak to their owner if you’re unsure.
2. Don’t feed other people’s dogs
You may have a handful of treats for your own dog, but you should never dish these out to other people’s dogs without their permission. If you want to avoid being followed around by 20 dogs at the dog park, take a handful of your dog’s kibble rather than treats. This will smell less strong and you’ll be less likely to be surrounded by eager pooches.
3. Keep a sick dog at home
If your dog is under the weather, it’s best to keep him at home as he might end up infecting other dogs at the park. Look out for signs of watery stool or vomiting, and make sure you stay up-to-date with worming tablets and flea treatments. If your dog is in heat, you will certainly want to keep your dog away from the dog park as this could be problematic.
4. Clean up your mess
It may be a dog park, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with leaving your dog’s mess on the floor. Imagine if every dog used it as a toilet and their owners didn’t clean it up, within a week no one would be able to use it. Dog parks often have specific bins for their mess, so there are no excuses.
5. Keep your dog under control
Although the dog park may be a safe space for your pets, this is no excuse for losing control of your dog. Always take a lead to the dog park so you can bring your dog under control if anything unexpected happens. Even the most well-trained dog can become distracted. It’s also a courtesy to other dog owners who may wish to keep their pet on a lead, but don’t want other animals following them. If one animal is on a lead, this can create an imbalance that might cause a scuffle to break out.
Although dog parks might seem like a safe place, you should always ensure that your dog’s microchip details are up to date and that they have your phone number on their collar should the worst happen.